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Project Runway Winner: Dom Streater

Congratulations to Philadelphia fashion designer and Moore College of Art alum Dom Streater, the first African American winner of "Project Runway"!

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    We're so excited for Dom Streater, 24, the first African American winner of "Project Runway" and the second winner to come from Philadelphia. (The first season's winner, Jay McCarroll, is also a Philadelphian.) Dom was born and raised in West Philadelphia. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in fashion design from Moore College of Art.
    Photo: Getty Images
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    The world of reality television, even a competition show decided in the end by only the level of raw talent and strength of a contestant's vision, is traditionally defined by focus pulling tantrums and feuds. In a season notable for more bad behavior than ever from drama queen designers that even tested the patience of calm and composed mentor Tim Gunn, Dom did Philly proud by distinguishing herself as a hardworking, friendly and normal (but never boring) personality. She set herself apart by simply doing work that spoke for itself.
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    "I kind of, like, made a decision before I got there that I really just needed to be true to myself, but also make sure that I focused primarily on my work. Because that was the reason that I was there," she told Philly.com this week.
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    At first, it took a little while for her to stand out amidst the designers vying for camera time, but once she got attention it was for all the right reasons. She became a favorite among fans and cast alike. She is shown here bonding with 4th place finalist, Bradon McDonald.
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    Prior to being cast on Season 12 of "Runway", Dom had been unable to find a job in design. She worked in animal care at the University of Pennsylvania and occasionally hostessed at Silk City in Northern Liberties (where "Project Runway" mentor Tim Gunn met with her and her family in part one of the finale episode). She juggled the two jobs while designing on the side.
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    Dom Streater previously applied for seasons 10 and 11 of the series. Even though she was a finalist in the audition process, she never made it to casting. By winning, she can expand her freelance line based in Philly, Halcyon.
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    Dom is shown here in footage of her home closet tour from the beginning of the season. According to Lifetime's profile of Dom, she decided to pursue design after spending her high school years obsessed with DIY projects. The compliments and requests for work from her classmates convinced her she had an interest worth pursuing professionally.
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    Dom is shown here with her design for Episode 2, "Million Dollar Runway" next to eliminated designer Kahindo Mateene. The challenge focused on creating looks paired with precious jewels.
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    One of Dom's cutest looks was in Episode 3, "An Unconventional Coney Island". Teamed with Season 12 runner-up Alexandria von Bromssen, Dom created an outfit using materials won by playing boardwalk carnival games. They did not win but scored particularly high marks with guest judge Kelly Osbourne.
    Photo: YouTube
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    Dom created this look in Episode 4, "Tie The Knot". The challenge was to create a look incorporating bow ties provided by "Modern Family" star Jesse Tyler Ferguson's charity organization, Tie The Knot, which advocates for gay marriage.
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    Next, Dom was teamed with fellow future finalists Justin LeBlanc and Helen Castillo on another unconventional materials challenge (this season seemed to have more than ever before). This time they designed a dress from materials from a wallpaper store and a food market.
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    This look is from Episode 6, "Let's Go Glamping!". The designers went on an overnight luxury camping trip and were tasked with creating looks inspired by the experience.
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    Dom Streater and Miranda Levy playing a round of fashion trivia in "Shoes First".
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    Another great look is Dom's work from Episode 7, "Shoes First". Since the challenge was to design a look based on shoes from Marie Claire's closet, Dom selected a vibrant pair of creepers and came up with this dress.
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    A challenge Dom did not do as well with was in Episode 9, "Let's Do Brunch". Despite having boisterous relatives from New Orleans, Dom's original dress reflecting "the modern southern woman" left the judges cold. However...
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    Each of the bottom three designers were given a do-over. They had one hour and the help of another designer to come up with something new. Dom's new look was so well received that one of the judges, Belk represenative John Thomas, declared her a second winner. Because of this honor, her new dress was selected to be mass produced and sold through the Belk department stores.
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    Some of Dom's best work was in Episode 11, "The Next Generation". Each season has a Hewlett Packard-sponsored, computer-aided textile design challenge. The twist this year was the pattern and garment had to be inspired by a young professional making a difference. Dom chose to work with Premal Shah, co-founder of crowd-funded lending network kiva.org.
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    Since Dom has a textile background and works beautifully with patterns, she nailed it. Here is a preliminary sketch for her creation.
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    Dom, with her custom designed fabric, making decisions.
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    Dom next to her finished work on the runway. Dom won the challenge, beating out 4th place finalist Bradon McDonald.
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    Another standout moment for Dom on the road to Fashion Week was the 12th and final challenge episode prior to the selection of the Season 12 finalists. The goal was to create an avant garde look inspired by butterflies. Her amazing look placed second, securing her a definite place at Fashion Week.
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    But that wasn't the only challenge. The designers were given a second look to complete - one based around reworking an eliminated designer's losing look. Dom chose Jeremy Brandrick's dud from "Let's Do Brunch", a "modern southern woman" design neither modern nor particularly southern.
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    She completely turned the style around and had guest judge, actress/singer Emmy Rossum, dying to snatch the jacket off of the model. Dom was robbed by only placing second.
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    Still, with a show at Fashion Week confirmed, Dom returned to Philly to start work on her collection. Tim Gunn is shown here visiting her in her studio.
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    Dom prepping the incredible futuristic gown in her winning collection made from door hardware.
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    Four weeks later, Fashion Week had arrived. Guest judge Kerry Washington joined regular judges Heidi Klum, Zac Posen, and Nina Garcia.
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    Dom Streater considers her influences to be minimalism, street culture in any city, music, modern art, and graphic novels. Somehow you can really see the reference to graphic novels in her bold use of patterns and color.
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    In a Q&A, Dom told Lifetime about the first garment she ever made. "I made a denim one-shoulder bell-sleeve top from a couple of pair of jeans I had. My mom almost killed me."
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    Dom's favorite designers are Helmut Lang, Calvin Klein, Alexander Wang, and Lanvin.
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    Her favorite past "Project Runway" designers? Jay McCarroll, winner of Season 1 (Yay, Philly!), and Jeffrey Sebelia, winner of Season 3.
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    When asked what would she design for the First Lady, Michelle Obama, she told Lifetime, "A sick black pencil skirt and a tee made from the softest cashmere with crazy seaming. With all the work she does, comfort is key."
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    "Project Runway" judges Nina Garcia, Zac Posen and Heidi Klum with guest judge Kerry Washington in the audience at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week evaluating Dom Streater's work
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    As Dom told Lifetime, Philly girls always hustle harder! Congratulations again, Dom!
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